Thursday, June 30, 2016

Hobbit Beach Trail, Florence, Oregon

There is no sign for the Hobbit Trail on Hwy 101, but I read that it was near Heceta Head Lighthouse, so I stopped there and asked a Ranger.
He directed me to a large unmarked pull-off a mile north of the lighthouse. The trail begins across the road from the pull-off. After you enter the woods, you do come to a sign for the trail.
Just the name and a little imagination is all it takes to make this a whimsical, intriguing trail.
Thistle looks like he is expecting some Hobbits to appear from the woodsy tunnel on the left. There are  several small Hobbit-sized side-trails like that.
Hobbit hiding places...
Limbs covered with moss.
Keep looking...

A few Hobbit-sized steps lead down to the beach.
"Wow, what a tree!" says Thistle.
Another Hobbit lane? 

Under an arbor of gnarly branches and vines...

Thistle was not so sure about this passageway.

First glimpse of the sea!
Only the sound of the surf...
The number is to help you find your way back to the car. This is also part of the Pacific Coast Trail, so theoretically you could keep on walking north along the beach for a long ways.
Looking south at Heceta Head. The lighthouse is on the other side.
Perhaps the Hobbits left these crab legs...
Looking north along the foggy beach.
Thistle wants to run!

A small freshwater creek that runs into the ocean.

Logs and other driftwood.

Time to go back up the Hobbit Trail.

Some of the steps are a little high for Hobbits.

Hobbit Woods

Next we went back to the Heceta Head Lighthouse area where I made Thistle walk another trail up to the Lighthouse. You can see the Lighthouse Keeper's House in this picture.
A worker was washing windows.
US 101 crosses over this historic bridge and through a tunnel on the other side.

Trail to the lighthouse. Thistle told me he only signed up for one hike today.
View from the trail.
The sign says these are Brant's Cormorants. It was too far for me to ID, but I could see they were nesting and feeding chicks.
Lots of swimming birds too. I think I see Surf Scoters here.
A mixture of Common Murres, Surf Scoters, and what else?
A photo of the Lightkeeper's House and other buildings back in the day. The cement steps were used for mounting horses.
The steps are still there.
The building is the entrance to the Sea Lion Caves. An elevator takes you down to the caves. I did that a few years ago, so don't plan to do it again this trip.
You can see some of the sea lions lying on rocks outside the caves.
Close up of the lighthouse. They do tours, but dogs aren't allowed inside, so I passed.
View of the beach and bridge from the lighthouse.
Fun hikes, and fun day. Thistle was tired out.